Tough As Nails

This post's gonna be all about me, I just know it!!!

Hello everyone!  I’m baaaaaaack!!!

April, May, June, July, August, and now with this week’s post, we will have used up every Friday in the month of September re-telling this wonderful, wacky, and overly drawn out tale of my Millionaire Journey!  Can you believe it’s been six months already?  Why, I feel like I just started writing this last week!

Or maybe 4,000 years ago... it's hard to tell.

Or maybe 4,000 years ago… it’s hard to tell.

Last week, we saw Amy Turner dazzle her way to $16,000 in the Hot Seat, earning more than enough to buy herself that dishwasher she always wanted along with some custom seat covers for her Austin Healey Sprite… assuming she can make it past the critical $32,000 question, that is.  Sure, she talked a lot and maybe stalled a bit, but hey, we’d all do the same if we were under those white hot lights having to answer these questions for real life-changing stakes.  Now that she’s answered nine questions and had nearly 20 minutes of real time in the Hot Seat, certainly things will go much easier for her, right……????

$32,000 – What is the name for the light, crescent-shaped mark at the base of the fingernail?

A. Velum
B. Cusp
C. Lunula
D. Axilla

Who in the hell bothered to give that thing a name, anyway?

Who in the hell bothered to give that thing a name, anyway?

Amy does her best to evilly stare down this question while she figures out what her best strategy is to get to that safe haven of 32 grand.  The first words out of her mouth, “I don’t have any manicurists on my phone a friend list,” is typical of a lot of the nonsense babble contestants will spit out under the pressure of playing the game.  Sure, it sounds reasonable, until you really think about the fact that knowing the stupid name someone once gave to an imaginary part of the body has absolutely no bearing on the fitness of one as a manicurist…

I don't know what it's called either, Daddy, but it looks all pretty now!

I don’t know what it’s called either, Daddy, but it looks all pretty now!

I could be wrong, though as a self-manicurist who has trimmed my nails with my teeth all of my life, it never once occurred to me what in the hell that white thingy at the bottom of my nails might be called… if anything.  Must we name something that serves absolutely no purpose at all?  Something that would never come up in casual conversation, even with your manicurist?  Something that only exists to make trivia hounds believe they are smarter than everyone else because they’ve retained the most useless knowledge?

Yeah, those things on the end of your shoelaces are really called aglets.  I learned that while inventing the fucking theory of relativity, bitch!

Yeah, those things on the end of your shoelaces are really called aglets. I learned that while inventing the fucking theory of relativity, bitch!

Regis reminds Amy that this is one of those mysteries we always wondered about as a kid… and Amy plays right along with him.  It’s quite obvious both of these people did not grow up in the era of video games like I did.  I was too worried about finding that other castle that the princess was hiding in, or how the hell to get past that fucking Moblin in the 7th dungeon on Zelda to pay any attention to the fact that there was that grotesque looking light colored blob hiding beneath each of my fingernails.

Who has time to look at their nails when they could be ogling over Samus' sexy bikini in Metroid?

Who has time to look at their nails when they could be ogling Samus’ sexy bikini in Metroid instead?

What is that damn thing called anyhow?

That ain't gonna help, Amy... or is it?

That ain’t gonna help, Amy… or is it?

Amy has two lifelines left at her disposal, the Phone a Friend and the 50/50.  The latter wouldn’t really do any good at this point, so she’s mulling over who on her list of friends would be the person most likely to know some insignificant shit like this.  Regis isn’t much help at this point, suggesting maybe Amy has one of her girlfriends as a lifeline who’s maybe had a manicure before and would maybe, perhaps know, ummm…

You know, on second thought, forget I ever said any of that stupid shit.

You know, on second thought, forget I ever said any of that stupid shit.

Amy scrolls down her PAF roll… she has someone with medical knowledge…

Sorry, I don't have fingernails.  That will be $399 after insurance.

Sorry, I don’t have fingernails. That will be $399 after insurance.

She has her sister, who would “have an absolute heart attack” if she called her… oh, let’s call her just for fun, Amy says jokingly!  I could admonish Amy for having such a useless lifeline who would go into cardiac arrest if she were to be called upon to answer a trivia question, but Regis does the job for me, scolding Amy for forgetting that the dishwasher is on the line here, and she needs to bear down here and do something seriously helpful, like call a person who’s had a manicure before.

Next up is the sports guy, who Amy immediately dismisses.  Regis kinda likes the medical lifeline here…

You can always count on someone who collects stool samples.

You can always count on someone who collects stool samples.

Amy finally decides on who to call….

I'm, like, totally having a cow, man!

I’m, like, totally having a cow, man!

Bart is someone she knows from Colorado who is a fellow computer programmer.  Amy says Bart has more medical knowledge than she does, while Regis once again takes the opportunity to mock the fact that me and him are obviously the only two people involved with the show that day who AREN’T in computer related fields.

I always imagined there was a lot of editing involved in getting the phone a friend on the line once the lifeline was invoked, but I was shocked to see everything occurred just as smoothly in real time as it appeared to while watching at home.  Within seconds of Regis asking AT&T to get Bart on the line, we hear the his Rocky Mountain voice in the studio.

Yes, corporate sponsorship was alive and well in 2001.

Yes, corporate sponsorship was alive and well in 2001.

Bart admits he’s not happy to hear Regis’ voice, making him about as pussified as Amy’s sister.  But he’s going to try to win that dishwasher for his gal.

Powers away those pesky spots of skunk spray!

Amy’s dog will be happy to go back to just licking its balls.

Amy carefully reads off the question, making sure to speak loudly enough for Bart to hear her voice from 2,000 miles away even without the phone.  It’s never good when halfway through the thirty seconds, your long distance lifeline asks you to repeat the question.  She does so, even spelling out two of the choices, and leaving just 8 seconds for Bart to quit staring at his fingernails and give a fucking answer…

Bart: I’m gonna go with A. Velum!

Amy: How sure?

Bart: About 60…

Amy: Is it a guess!?!?

Bart: Na…..

tick tick tick


It’s uncertain what Bart was trying to spit out of his mouth as the thirty seconds expired on the phone a friend meter, and all communications to the Mountain Time Zone were cut off.

What did he say, Regis?  What did he say!?!?!?

What did he say, Regis? What did he say!?!?!?

It sounded like he was starting to answer Amy’s final query with “No”, that his answer wasn’t a guess… but then again, he only stated 60% confidence in Velum anyway.  That might be fine and dandy for a President’s approval rating, but for a question that literally meant the difference between leaving with $1,000 and $32,000, that wouldn’t be very convincing for me, and it certainly wasn’t for Amy.

This is where Good Regis, who I raved about a few posts back in this series, went to work…

Look Amy, I don't want to have to pitch yet another shit fit on this set today... so let me give you some advice here...

Look Amy, I don’t want to have to pitch yet another shit fit on this set today… so let me give you some advice here…

Whether it’s the strong, silent type like Ed Toutant, or the bubbly, vivacious kind of contestant that Amy was, Regis was always the contestant’s biggest champion.  Even though those of us dying in Finalist Puragtory are shooting Superman-like laser beams out of our eyes at her by this point, Regis’ main concern is always with the person who’s sitting right in front of him… and he wanted Amy to get this question right so she’d leave with a nice chunk of ABC’s spare change.

So Regis tries to talk some sense into Amy in case she had any wild ideas about blindly going with Bart’s 60% guess and asks if she’d like to use that 50/50 to see if Velum survives the cut or not.  As much as Amy would love to save that lifeline for later, she knows she’s up Shit Creek without a boat oar, and realizes that Regis’ advice to sanity-check Bart is wise….

And lo and behold….

Oh Bart!!!!  You BASTARD!!!

Oh, Bart!!!! You BASTARD!!!

Goodbye Cusp, and more importantly, goodbye to Bart’s answer of Velum.  Amy’s totally losing it over the fact that the only lead she had for this question has just disappeared like dirt under the fingernail, while Regis is having even more fun mocking Bart on national primetime television than I am on this blog that’s read by a few dedicated readers and maybe a possum or two.  “So much for the big, bad computer programmer, whatever that is, whatever he does!”  Methinks Regis may be a closet technophobe…

So I catch Gelman in the restroom taking a picture of himself in the mirror with this strange, flat device with a screen on it... I was so confused by this machine that i didn't even notice he was only wearing a pair of your underwear.

So I catch Gelman in the restroom taking a picture of himself in the mirror with this strange, flat device with a screen on it… I was so confused by this machine that I didn’t even notice he was only wearing a pair of your underwear.

Regis then further chides Amy by saying he’d advised her to call a woman instead… a woman would have known this!  What exactly this statement says about Amy, who I’m pretty sure is a female herself, only Da Reege himself could explain.

One more sexist comment like that, Regis, and I'm impaling you on my steed!

One more sexist comment like that, Regis, and I’m impaling you on my steed!

Oh my, oh dear…. what is Amy going to do now?  She has no earthly idea what the answer to this question is, and all of the help she is allowed under the game’s official rules is gone.  She already had to ask the audience about petty officers, she called Bart, she found out he’s a 60% dumbass with the 50/50.  There’s no more lifelines left, Amy….

Or is there?

Are you ready for your fourth lifeline now, dear?

Are you ready for your fourth lifeline now, dear?

It turns out Regis knows the answer to this question, or at least thinks he does… and he knows just how to get Amy to realize what it is…

Regis: “LUN-ula…. where does LUN-ula come from?”

And suddenly, an entire studio audience just had a Mentos moment...

And suddenly, an entire studio audience just had a Mentos moment…

I will swear on any Bible that will not burn my hand that the sound of mental light bulbs popping as soon as Regis gave that careful breakdown of Lunula was actually audible.  There was just a vibe that this question seemed as foreign to almost everyone else in the studio as it obviously was to Amy… and that vibe totally disappeared the millisecond Regis let loose with the key to deciphering this question….








As nastily as Regis had just mocked Bart, who was 2/3 of the way across the country and would have to wait two weeks to hear how much he was made fun of, Regis just made us all look like total morons by showing us that the key to unlocking this fucked up question was right in front of our faces the whole damn time!  Like myself, Amy catches on right away, and a smile almost returns to her face.


Well, almost…

To be fair, and to make it look like he wasn’t intentionally feeding Amy any of his superior knowledge, Regis then asks her what Axilla sounds like.

This was Amy's answer... I swear to Godzilla!

This was Amy’s answer… I swear to Godzilla!

Once everyone is done laughing at Amy’s divine comedy, it’s back to the serious business of this question.  Sure, Lunula looks like it’s correct…. but then again, we all thought Tomato looked correct on Ed’s fatal question not even a half hour ago.  Regis has done his job of putting Amy on what he believes to be the correct track, and now the final decision is up to her.  Leave with $16,000… more than enough to get a dishwasher, a tattoo, and even a tattoo for her new dishwasher.  Or press on and risk getting the boot with just a grand in pocket for the chance at $32,000 and beyond….

Well, what’s it going to be, Amy?




Don't mind us, Amy.  Take all the fucking time you need...

Don’t mind us, Amy. Take all the fucking time you need…


Don't mind the civilization crumbling around you... you've got all the time you need!

Don’t mind the civilization crumbling around you… your time is limited to only the lifespan of the universe itself!

Amy starts talking about what she could buy with $1,000…. a decent dishwasher.  She could get a whole new kitchen for $32,000.

She could afford nine funerals for those who starved to death on her watch...

She could afford nine funerals for those who starved to death on her watch…

Amy:  I gotta go for it!

Regis: OK

Amy: I gotta try

Regis: I understand…

Amy: The one that makes sense…

Regis: ….is?

Amy: C.

Regis: Lunula

It was really cute how Regis seemed to be finishing Amy’s thoughts for her.  At this point, I don’t think it was so much out of trying to help her advance as it was trying to get her to either shit or get off the Hot Pot.  Regis doesn’t have the same financial stake in Amy’s stalling that me and my eight cohorts surrounding her do, but even he seems to be getting a bit impatient now.  He has things to do and people to see, and he’s not getting any younger…

I'm praying to Godzilla that we get out of here before midnight!

I’m praying to Godzilla that we get out of here before midnight!

Amy starts to babble back the reasoning behind how Lunula connects to crescent shaped markings, the whole while looking for more assurance from Regis, who is completely done helping her out.  In air time, seven minutes have already passed since this question was first posed to Amy… it’s been even longer in the real time of the studio.  What’s worse is because of the slow pace Amy has proceeded at, it feels like she’s had this question for an eternity now!

You know, how you all feel reading this series.

You know, like how you all feel reading this series.

“I’m just trying to get through the day!” Regis finally retorts to her indecisiveness and attempt at maybe drawing another hint, getting another laugh from a studio audience that desperately needs a pee break.  Legend is, Regis once had a contestant take 52 minutes to answer a single question… and while it hasn’t been anywhere near that long yet with Amy’s $32,000 query, the day sure seems to be dragging along…


We interrupt this Millionaire Journey post for this breaking news!

We interrupt your Millionaire Journey post for this breaking news!

Amy’s finally decided to go for it!




Dishwasher accomplished.

Dishwasher accomplished.

And we’re going to commercial break #3….

It's almost a mercy killing at this point...

It’s almost a mercy killing at this point…

And if you survived this week’s post, congratulations.  You are a real trooper, and a true blue fan of The Saga.  And since this edition didn’t get even close to as far along as I wanted to get… that means I get to tack on one more post to the series!  Yes, the neverending story just got even more neverendinger…



Me, Amy and Regis will see you next Friday!



About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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31 Responses to Tough As Nails

  1. PigLove says:

    Tapping hooves…. mommy knew the answer. She said it right off. But, she *is* a woman and knows these things. You’re killing me my friend. I’m off to show my hostility to the other anipals here at the Hotel Thompson. Surely there is someone that I can push just a tiny itty little bit into a wall or something – snorts. XOXO – Bacon

  2. Bart is not smart… I’m always the one who jumps up and down in front of the tv when I think the answer is “easy” ( I know that’s silly because there is a giant difference if you are the one on the chair or if you are the one who screams “iftsh tshieeeh” with the mouth full of peanuts) … but at last Amy picked the right answer

    • Poor Bart. I don’t think this was the ideal question for a phone a friend unless they happened to know the answer cold… even realizing at the time that smart contestants always set up at least one of their PAF’s with Google at their disposal where the friend could do a quick and discrete search (A practice which the show did not condemn, but also did its best not to glorify on the air since it seems like cheating), I don’t think this question was ideal for it. But neither Regis nor myself will ever let that stand in the way of making fun of poor ol’ Bart….

  3. I wouldn’t mind if this series lasted forever. I’m loving it. That dog licking the dishes was priceless. There’s nowhere else on this planet where one can find good entertainment like that. Lol. I need to get out more.

  4. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I knew the answer right away! What do I win?

    This sounds like one of those celebrity episodes where you end up getting clues from Kermit the Frog who happens to be in the audience or something like that.

    • Who needs Kermit when you’ve got the talented Mr. Philbin conspicuously guiding you along. God bless him… without his help, next Friday’s episode would have never happened at all, and Amy would have never had what became her signature moment…. whatever that is! 😉

      I’ll see if I have any lunula-free Lee Press On Nails for your prize!

      • NotAPunkRocker says:

        What, did I come in fourth on The Price is Right or something?

        True story: I have a friend who went against Ken Jennings and some other person on Jeopardy. Of course, she lost to KJ, but her prize was some sort of resort trip. Beats Rice-A-Roni!

      • Yeah, we’ve come a long way since Weird Al lost on Jeopardy…

        We had someone on my message board who was also one of the 140+ slaughter victims of KJ… that had to feel like being the expansion Tampa Bay Rays and having to compete in the same division with the Yankees and Red Sox…

  5. Amy AMY AMMMMMY! Honey you’re going to lose your Girl-Card if you keep answering questions like that so slowly.

    OMG, yes OMG, that was so entertaining. I’ll be laughing all weekend (OK for the next hour or two and I’ll share this with unsuspecting friends.)

    By the way I painted my nails a nice shade of lavender last night so my lunula parts aren’t showing.

    • Purple moon… almost like a Prince song! Or a total eclipse of the purple moon… that was an 80’s song as well, i think…

      • HA! I thought of that too Purple Haze. There was a story on the radio this morning about Jimmy Hendrix. I sort of forgot about it but then I was outside being a fool and trying to take a photo of my purple nails (lavender really) for a post which wasn’t working out very well and my eyes burned because of all the smoke from the big forest fire east of here and I thought “purple haze.” THEN my kind-of-smart-phone said I had a notification from WP from some guy who blogs about squirrels and he thought of Jimmy too… it goes to show everything is connected (and I’m not even stoned.)

  6. Twindaddy says:

    I AM a trooper! And I wanted to go back in time and kick Amy in the ass and tell her to quit fucking around a pick an answer. I’m happy to report that was my answer from the get-go, making this one of the few questions I’ve gotten right since this series started….

  7. I’m pretty sure the nice little Vietnamese lady who does my fingers and toes doesn’t know the answer either, at least not in English — which she doesn’t speak so good. Nor would any of her customers, should she try to impart this — WOW IS THIS TRIVIAL! — information to them … Everyone I know always called them crescents, if they called them anything and there was some minor controversy when I was really young about whether or not to cover them with polish when doing ones nails. Hmm. Never got that answered either …

    • I have someone at work with a Vietnamese wife, so I could ask if they have a word in the language for lunula, but I’m sure the Vietnamese had more things to worry about than what to call a stupid marking on the fingernail. Not painting over the crescents with polish would look odd to me… but then again, we guys aren’t supposed to know anything about the fine art of nail painting… and that opinion’s backed up by Regis!

  8. Ally Bean says:

    Really? Her question came down to how much she knew about manicures? This story gets more whacked every week… and I love it. 😉

    • I think the manicure talk was just a red herring… this was a classic question the show was famous for involving reasoning and intuition of something people probably wouldn’t ordinarily know… which Amy didn’t realize until she’d already wasted all her lifelines and Regis had to point her in the right direction.

      Of course, the way I tell it is much more entertaining… 🙂

  9. markbialczak says:

    Didn’t a scientist in England invent a drug that makes your lunula glow, ESN? See you on the show next week, when you get a FF question at least, I hope I hope.

    • Glowing lunulas…. I think those may have been a fad in the 80’s! We shall see if I ever get that next FF question… if may take Amy the rest of the show to answer the next question, after all…

  10. gentlestitches says:

    Geeze, doesn’t anyone know basic anatomy? Next I will hear no one knew what an uvula was. Axilla is of course the armpit!!! That was too funny and the dog was adorable. You must treat your self to a dishwasher ES. I would marry mine if it wasn’t against God’s good laws! ❤

    • Ha! When my Mom finally got to see the show, she said right away that axilla was armpit. I didn’t know that… I just call it an armpit!

      It would take some major renovation to add a dishwasher to my kitchen… work I could only afford if I happened to win big money on a game show!

  11. draliman says:

    Wow, a whole post on one question! You are indeed the master (bows) 🙂
    I actually got that one right (through total guesswork).

    • Not only did I cover just one question start to finish, but I did so with what was easily my longest post by word count in the series to date! Amy gave me plenty to whine… er, write about!

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